Alfredo Tan

Innovative Executive, Senior Vice President | Managing Director, Loblaw Media


A thought-leader, change agent, and impact-focused innovator, Alfredo C. M. Tan has led companies through changing digital landscapes, ever-evolving consumer expectations and behaviours, and global expansions. He was a founding team member of Facebook Canada in 2009 and has held senior roles in several storied companies — including WestJet, Rogers Sport & Media, Yahoo!, Bell Nexxia, and Sympatico MSN — helping to guide innovation, oversee strategy, and build transformative, high-performance cultures.


Tan is currently the Senior Vice-President and Managing Director at Loblaw Media, a division of the global Fortune 300 company, Loblaw Group. He’s focused on delivering the highest growth opportunities for retailers, leveraging company assets across loyalty, e-commerce, mobile, data and analytics, bricks and mortar, and financial services to help consumer brands more effectively reach the right customers. Up until 2022, Tan was the Senior Vice President of Strategy, Data, and Products with Rogers Sports & Media, where he led the industry’s digital transformation. Tan and his team built world-class consumer experiences through integrated digital strategies, putting people at the centre of the transformation by creating a culture of experimentation.


Prior to this, Tan served as WestJet’s first Chief Digital Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, where he helped build a culture of innovation and transform the guest experience across all digital channels. This was after spending nearly a decade with Meta Platforms Inc. (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp), where he joined the leadership team in Asia-Pacific to help launch Facebook and Instagram in the Philippines. He assumed similar leadership roles in Southeast Asia and Latin America, driving operational excellence and accelerating growth in these emerging markets.


With his breadth of experience, Tan is an in-demand keynote speaker often found at leading technology, media, marketing, corporate, and various industry conferences. He has been profiled and quoted in Forbes, Marketing Magazine, The Economist, Strategy Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and many other leading publications. Tan is also an industry professor at McMaster University’s Strategic Management Faculty and a guest lecturer in The Directors College’s Innovation Governance program for board directors.


Tan is currently an advisor at the Digital Transformation Research Center at McMaster University, sits on the Haskayne Business School Advisory Council at the University of Calgary, and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He was previously the executive sponsor of the Rogers Pan Asian Network and served on the executive steering committees on artificial intelligence, data science and tech skills for the future. Tan was also a founding executive of the Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs Canada Chapter and a member of the Leadership Council at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.


Tan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in forensic science and biology from the University of Toronto, an MBA with a specialization in information systems and technology from McMaster University, and a Master of Laws with a concentration in innovation and technology from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and the University of Oxford with a Graduate Diploma (Masters-EQF Level 7) in finance.

WATCH: Alberta Tan chats at DeGroote


Lessons in Disruption, Innovation, & Success

Alfredo Tan is a thought leader, change agent, and impact-focused innovator. He’s led companies through changing digital landscapes and evolving consumer expectations and behaviours. He’s held senior-level roles with WestJet, Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo & Rogers Media.


In this inspiring presentation, Alfredo shares his lessons learned along the way on mentorship, risk-taking, focus, and more.


Takeaways can include:


  • Success doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a journey with no destination.
  • Hire intellectually curious people, those that thrive in ever-changing environments. 
  • Avoid the ‘HIPPO’ influence.
  • Empower people to run experiments without the management overhead.
  • Today is the slowest rate of change we will ever experience again.
Lessons Learned - Alfredo Tan's Personal Story

As a young immigrant to Canada from the Philippines, Alfredo wanted to be successful in his new country.  He spent his life in the pursuit of higher education and in sharing that knowledge whenever he could, rising to the highest levels of corporate leadership in a range of industries.  In this inspiring presentation, he shares his lessons learned along the way. 


Sample takeaways: 


  • Success involves taking risks, investment of time, grit, perseverance, and incredible focus.  
  • Your mentors and allies will support you & help you overcome some of our systemic challenges. 
  • Be endlessly curious and acknowledge there is always room to be better.  
  • Never forget or be ashamed of where you come from. 
  • Find ways to give back, every single day. No matter how small. Create the conditions to help others be as lucky as you have been.
On Innovation & Your Escape Velocity for Change

There are very few companies who don’t want to innovate. In fact, it is probably the most overused term in business today. Most companies and executives today conflate innovation and technology as being interchangeable. But innovation is more about culture, people and how organizations solve problems that can scale. 


Why can’t companies innovate? Why is failure so often the outcome despite having very talented teams? When things get hard, when there are significant challenges, competitive forces, harsh economic conditions, companies often revert to the way they have always done things —- institutional gravity. You fall victim to trying to push through using the same processes and activities that made you successful up to this point. However, that won’t get you to the future. The key is finding a way to reach a speed and direction for your organization to move towards and escape the gravity of what you have always done – Find your escape velocity.

The 4th Industrial Revolution

The 4th Industrial Revolution involves the merging of digital, physical, and biological systems. It isn’t science fiction; it is happening all around us. The last 20 years were the warm-up.

The future of medicine may come equally from the mathematics department as it does from science labs.

The future of education maybe fueled from start-ups and big tech and less from traditional academia.

Every industry, every function, every country will be affected in dramatic ways.

Today, is the slowest day we will ever experience again. Here is what is coming and what you need to do now to prepare.

The Future of Work

The competitive landscape has always been challenging. But what we have been predicting, what covid-19 made to be true, is that every company will become a digital enterprise. Which means, overnight, we are all competing in ways we can’t even imagine. No longer do we live in siloed environments. Automotive is competing equally with retail as it does in its own industry.


Consumer experiences, commerce, the war for talent and how we work is colliding across geography, industry, and time zones. The rules have changed literally overnight and will never return to what it was.


Here is why talent will want to come join you on your transformation journey and reasons why they won’t.

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